“Every leader goes through different phases of maturity, growth and development and it helps by (recognizing) the mistakes that you make,” Cathy said. “And you learn from those mistakes. If not, you’re just a fool. I’m thankful that I lived through it and I learned a lot from it.
Cathy talked about the events of the summer of 2012 in a wide-ranging interview that included his thoughts about the company’s future and the path he wants to put it on as the newly named CEO. He got the title in November after his father, Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, stepped aside at age 92.
Still, as Cathy starts the job the company’s link to the gay marriage debate lingers. And it still occupies a niche as the only major fast food chain that isn’t open on Sunday, owing to the Christian, pro-family convictions of the elder Cathy — something Dan Cathy says he won’t change.
For Cathy, there is lots to talk about other than gay marriage.
Chick-fil-A, like a lot of fast-food companies, is being forced by an increasingly better-educated consumer to review every aspect of its menu, from calorie counts to genetically modified ingredients to where it gets its chicken. Bowing to changing consumer tastes, it set a goal last month to serve chicken raised without antibiotics at all stores nationwide within five years.